Mangaluru, March 8, 2020: An estimated 1,400 international cruise-passengers have been stranded after their cruise ship, MSC Lirica, was denied permission to dock at Mangaluru port by the authorities of New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). Officials said that they were acting as per the directive of the Ministry of Shipping on the prevention of coronavirus.
According to an NMPT official, the ship, registered from Republic of Panama (ROP), was scheduled to reach NMPT at around 6 am on Saturday morning along with its passengers and crew.
“We have all the equipment for screening, detection and quarantine system in place. However, following the decision taken by the Ministry of Shipping on March 5 to stop the disembarkation of the crew or passenger having travel history from the infected countries, we have not allowed the Cruise ship to dock at the port,” he said.
According to the ship’s schedule, MSC Lirica departed from Dubai on Saturday, 29 Feb 2020, had ported at Abu Dhabi (UAE), Khor Fakkan (UAE), Muscat, Oman and was to reach Mangaluru on Saturday. It was to proceed to Goa and Mumbai port on Sunday and Monday, respectively. “But, given the directions and jurisdiction from the government, it is unlikely that the ship will get a clearance on those ports as well,” the NMPT authority said.
The officials stated that this measure had to be taken despite the crew of the ship convincing the port authorities that the passengers and its crew did not show any symptoms of coronavirus and were free from the viral infection. Meanwhile, Managing Director of Globe Travels William D’Souza said that being the local travel service provider, they had to look into the travel and services of 700 passengers of MSC Lirica who had opted for a ground tour in Mangaluru.
Courtesy: The News Minute